Video calls are an important part of working from home and you want to make sure you pay attention to the various nuts and bolts.
That said, there is already a lot of great material online in terms of the boxes you want to check to make sure the calls go smoothly.
In fact, we have a detailed walkthrough of setting up your workstation for video calls, which you can find in our course called Acing Online Interviews.
But mechanics aside, there is one important element of making video calls that we did want to cover in this course.
And in fact, what we're about to cover isn't just relevant for video calls. It really applies to any calls you make or take.
What we're discussing here is what we call Minimum Talking Points, or MTP for short.
Now the idea behind MTP is very straightforward.
Before you get on your call, your goal is to distill everything you plan to say into just a few concise bullet points.
These are your MTP.
Regardless of the complexity of what it is you plan to discuss, try to keep your MTP to no more than three bullets. If you only have one, even better.
If you exceed three, you need to figure out how to restructure the call.
That could mean consolidating multiple topics into a single one, or, if the topics can't be combined in a logical way, it could mean scheduling a separate call to discuss unrelated topics.
The constraints of the MTP force you to think strategically about what you intend to convey on the call and to identify your desired objectives and outcomes before you begin.
It's a great exercise for organizing your thoughts and keeping the conversation from wandering off-topic.
And ultimately, it ensures that you are using your own time and that of the people you're speaking to, in the most efficient manner possible.
Now MTP may sound like overkill for shorter calls, but even for quick check-ins, we strongly encourage you to set aside 30 seconds to jot down some MTPs.
You'd be amazed at how far just a little bit of prep will go toward making your calls more productive and professional.
Your colleagues will appreciate it and the time you save can be reallocated to other priorities on your to-do list.
So everyone benefits.